Scholarships Created for Students who are Military Veterans
Two Wesleyan alumni each have made substantial
gifts to create need-based scholarships for former servicemen and women for
four years of full-time baccalaureate study. These new gifts will fund as
many as 10 scholarships at any given time.
One of the donors, Frank Sica '73, hopes he can enable young men and women
who have performed a service for the U.S. to attend a premier liberal arts
"The government-provided college aid and pay scales for enlisted personnel
are such that, unless these people received substantial aid, they could not
pay the expenses associated with attending a place such as Wesleyan," Sica
says. "Secondly, the armed forces consist of people from diverse social and
ethnic backgrounds who have been working and training together for the
duration of their service. My hope is that Wesleyan, because of its
diversity, will enable them to be more comfortable than at other small
liberal arts institutions."
The second donor, Jonathan Soros '92, says he wants to help reduce
disconnect between policymakers and the military.
"For many at a liberal arts college, interacting with the men and women of
the military is not part of their experience," he says. "I see a real
educational opportunity in which veterans benefit from a liberal arts
education, and the community benefits by learning from people of different
backgrounds and confronting realities they wouldn't otherwise directly
encounter. Servicemen and women demonstrate an admirable call to duty, and I
think they can inspire all of us to public service."
Wesleyan admits students without regard to their financial circumstances and
then provides a financial aid package that meets each student's full
demonstrated need. Forty percent of its 2,900 students currently receive
grant aid. The average grant is $27,151. Wesleyan currently budgets $35.4
million of its own resources annually for grant aid for undergraduates.
Federal and state sources contribute an additional $2.7 million.
Wesleyan announced on Nov. 1 that it will eliminate loans for its neediest
undergraduates and replace them with additional grants, beginning with
first-year students in fall 2008. The policy is part of a new initiative to
reduce overall student indebtedness by 35 percent in order to make Wesleyan
even more accessible to students regardless of their financial capacity.
"At Wesleyan, we help exceptionally smart, imaginative students find their
capacities for leadership in the world beyond the campus," says President
Michael Roth. "We are particularly grateful to Frank Sica and Jonathan Soros
for hearing the potential resonance of this educational ideal for students
who have experienced military service and for understanding how such
students can help strengthen campus discourse. We are proud to be taking
this initiative to support those who have served our country at the same
time we are taking strides to make Wesleyan more affordable for students
from all backgrounds."
By David Pesci, director of Media Relations